Quirky – Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question is suggested by (blogless) JMutford:


Sometimes I find eccentric characters quirky and fun, other times I find them too unbelievable and annoying. What are some of the more outrageous characters you’ve read, and how do you feel about them?

I take ‘quirky’ to mean characters that are odd, who act in unexpected ways, are a bit peculiar or different, maybe a bit outrageous or unusual in some way. They’re the type of character that makes a book either very good or boringly bad. It really depends on the situation and whether they fit into the story or are there just for effect.

There are so many characters that can be described as quirky but one that came to my mind as I read the question is Alice in Pinkerton’s Sister by Peter Rushforth. She is certainly eccentric and peculiar, nothing she does is what people expect of her. The book starts off: ‘The madwoman in the attic was standing at the window.’

Her neighbours think she is simple, strange and definitely mad and are outraged by what she says and does. It’s a bizarre story mainly seen through Alice’s mind which because she lives mainly in the world of books is a very strange place indeed. It’s funny, well ludicrous at times, full of literary and musical references and I got lost in it for hours.

13 thoughts on “Quirky – Booking Through Thursday

  1. This is a book I meant to read when it first came out, but the local library didn’t have a copy and until you mentioned it I’d forgotten about it. I must go over to the library site and see if they’ve caught up with it yet.


  2. I should have added Pinkerton’s Sister is a very long and detailed book. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to read it, I don’t suppose it’s everyone’s cup of tea.


  3. This is a great questions. Having just read Great Expectations, I would have to say that Miss Havisham is definitely one of the most bizarre characters I’ve ever come across in literature. She was definitely over the top, but it didn’t detract from the story for me. She was quite interesting in a macabre sort of way.


  4. I have this book and have been meaning to read it, but I’ve been afraid I might miss some of the literary allusions. I know I come across quirky characters all the time, but now I can’t think of any–maybe Lady Julia’s family in Deanna Raybourn’s mystery series.


  5. I got Pinkerton’s Sister out of the library, and then it was due back before I had time to read it. Having read what you have to say, I must get it out again and actually read this time.


  6. I haven’t read the book you’ve mentioned, but it sounds interesting.Btw, that starting line gives me an idea… maybe we should do a meme about our favourite first lines of books! 🙂 I’ll suggest that in BTT.Happy BTT!


  7. Nan, I don’t know if it’s that person. I just copied the question from BTT.Nithin,good idea. I’ll have to think hard about that!


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